Week in Review - 03/01/2019

Week in Review - 03/01/2019

EDUCATION

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) staff gave lawmakers an overview Tuesday of proposed changes to state model curriculum on science, social studies, and financial literacy, part of a legal requirement to present the content to the General Assembly before final adoption by the State Board of Education. DeMaria and Brian Roget, associate director of ODE's Office of Learning and Instructional Strategies, presented the model curriculum to both the House and Senate education committees.


Several Ohio school districts have their local share of funding in hand and are ready to start construction and renovation of buildings, but the state won't have money to get the projects started for more than a year, education officials told lawmakers Tuesday. Local superintendents and education associations urged the Senate Finance Committee to pass SB4 (Kunze-Rulli), which would allow the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to issue an additional $100 million in bonds to get those projects rolling. Sens. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Michael Rulli (R-Salem) also provided sponsor testimony on the legislation.


The Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) Center for Teaching, Leading and Learning recently launched www.OhioHCRC.org, a website to help schools establish comprehensive approaches to human capital management in support of the state's new strategic plan for education.


Applications are now open at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) for schools interested in a school climate state grant for the 2019-2020 academic year. A total of $2 million in awards is available. Grant funding can be used to help schools implement positive behavioral interventions (PBIS) frameworks and evidence- or research-based social and emotional learning initiatives. The goal is to decrease disciplinary incidents that result in suspension or expulsion of young elementary students. Applications can be submitted until 4:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 via ODE's CCIP electronic grants system. Awardees will be notified in April. More information is available at https://tinyurl.com/yxlh7blk .


The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Thursday approved three resolutions aimed at providing districts more opportunities to move forward with locally-funded school construction projects years before the state provides its financial support.


ELECTIONS

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Friday the new adjusted campaign contribution limits for 2019-2021, which took effect on Monday, Feb. 25. The previous amounts were increased by 4.6 percent, to match the inflation rate measured by the Consumer Price Index in accordance with state law. Individuals, campaign committees and political action committees (PACs) will now be able to donate $13,292.35 in statewide, Senate and House races and to PACs; $39,877.05 to state parties; and $19,938.53 to legislative campaign funds, according to the chart released by LaRose.


POVERTY

 Ohio Democratic lawmakers are introducing legislation aimed at supporting low- and moderate-income Ohioans who struggle to make ends meet even while working. Reps. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Erica Crawley (D-Columbus) are introducing legislation to make Ohio's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refundable. It would also remove the income cap on the credit, allowing more Ohioans to access it, Skindell said.